Requirements for loans from Virginia Historical Society Collections

Requirements for loans from Virginia Historical Society Collections

Thank you for your inquiry regarding a possible loan from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) from the collections of the Virginia Historical Society. The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) only lends its collections to other museums or historical institutions that can provide a high level of security, environmental controls and fire protection. The VMHC does not loan its collections to any outdoor venue, private residence or individual for any reason.

Loan requests cannot be reviewed until the potential Borrower has sent a completed AAM General Facility Report.  The Director of Collections Management manages all loan requests and reviews the materials with members of the curatorial and conservation staff on a monthly basis. The potential Borrower will be contacted after the loan has been reviewed.

Please see the list below and send information to the attention of:

Rebecca A. Rose, Director of Collections Management
Virginia Museum of History & Culture
P. O. Box 7311
Richmond, Virginia 23221-0311

  • Loan requests must be received in writing, or by email, on institutional letterhead by a member of the professional staff.

  • Loan requests should be received at least six months in advance of desired date of transfer.

  • A rush fee will be applied to loans that can be accommodated with less than six months advance notice.

  • The borrowing institution must send an updated copy of their AAM General Facility Report, including a floor plan diagram indicating general receiving, preparation space, and exhibition location for loaned object(s).

  • Loan requests should be for specific items, with VMHC accession or call numbers if known, or explain the item as specifically as possible. Please refer to the VMHC online catalogs for collection details.

  • The borrowing institution should state the exhibit title, exhibition dates and requested loan period dates, and other venues, if applicable. 

  • Loan requests for paper or manuscript items should not exceed a six-month period.
  • Loan requests for other objects should not exceed a three-year period. Renewals will be considered for no longer than an additional three-year period.
  • The VMHC does not generally approve loans to uncompleted building projects.
  • The VMHC does not loan to outdoor venues, private residences or individuals.

Loan Fees from Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Listed below are the standard Outgoing Loan fees that may be charged to the Borrower, according to our loan policy.  The Borrower will assume responsibility for expenses incurred by the VMHC in packing, crating, transportation, couriers, insurance, photography and all other related costs.  Projected loan fees will be discussed with the Borrower in advance of loan approval.  Loan fees will be invoiced prior to the release of the loan.

LOAN FEES (minimum $150.00)

The Virginia Historical Society loan fee is $100.00 per loan request.
A minimum $50.00 fee for Packing materials and supplies is charged to each loan.
If supply costs exceed that amount, the Borrower will be notified.


An additional $250.00 rush fee is applied to loans that can be accommodated with less than six months advance notice.


$250.00 will be charged for crate retrofitting. If the loan requires new crating, the VMHC will contract with a fine arts company and add this cost to the loan lee invoice.


The VMHC requires loans to be transported by an approved fine arts carrier at the expense of the Borrower.  If discussed and approved in advance, loans may be transported via “hand-carry” by Borrower.  If by “hand-carry,” the Borrower must send two staff members in a vehicle appropriate to the size of the crate or box. In the event the VMHC must deliver the loan, the Borrower will be invoiced for mileage, transportation and staff travel expenses.


The Borrower is responsible for any conservation costs and fees that may be incurred as a result of preparing the material for loan.  All paper-based items will be evaluated by the VMHC paper conservator.  If stabilization or conservation is required, this work will be billed at a cost of $50.00 per hour.


The VMHC will determine if other artifacts need to be conserved before loan or exhibitions. If an object requested for loan requires conservation or cleaning, the VMHC will contract with an appropriate conservator to evaluate and perform the required work. Some conservators charge a fee for treatment evaluation and this fee will be passed on to the Borrower, even if the Borrower subsequently does not proceed with the loan. The VMHC will apprise the Borrower of conservation evaluation fees before contracting with a conservator.


An Archival Glazed Mat (or plexi-pack) is required on all manuscript materials and may be required on other paper-based materials. The cost is estimated at $150.00 per item, depending on size. If the Borrower wants the plexi-pack framed, that cost will be added to the loan fees. Other possible exhibition mounts required may include book cradles, textile mounts or other specialty mounts. Costs will be discussed with the Borrower in advance.

An Archival Glazed Mat (or plexi-pack) is prepared under the direction of the VMHC Paper Conservator. The prepared manuscript (or paper item) is matted and placed in a Plexiglas package, from which the manuscript may NOT be removed. The VMHC contracts with a professional framer who follows the VMHC specifications for this work. The Archival Glazed Mat can then be placed on exhibit “as is” or the Borrower may secure an appropriate frame for the prepared piece.


The VMHC may require an appraisal of objects or manuscripts requested for loan for the purpose of insurance valuation and the Borrower is responsible for any costs and fees that may be incurred as a result of having an appraisal performed. If an appraisal is required, a $25.00 set-up fee is charged to the loan. The VMHC will contract with an appraiser once the Borrower has approved the costs of the loan.


If the loan is cancelled by the Borrower, the Borrower will be responsible to pay loan fees for costs the VMHC has already incurred before loan cancellation.

Questions? Please contact Rebecca A. Rose, Director of Collections Management, at 804.342.9679 or